Parliament’s back, Bronny’s been dragged to the speaker’s recliner, and we’re talking climate change and boats.
You really missed this, didn’t you?
This morning as the 44th Federal Parliament opened and Bronwyn Bishop took charge, Tony Abbott vowed “we can all do better”. But don’t expect the debate to shift much in the short term. All those bitterly contested election promises have to be legislated. The rancour is hardly going to dissipate.
This is a new government that has few new ideas. Perhaps that’s fair enough; they have three years to roll out an agenda beyond dismantling what they didn’t like from the other mob. Ministers will familiarise themselves with portfolios and put fresh ideas forward.
But let’s hear some real debate about bigger issues: the deficiencies in education and health, particularly among indigenous Australians; the sustainability of current tax rates and the tax system; the adequacy of superannuation and preparedness for an ageing population; and the macro-economic ideas to position the national economy in a post-mining boom world.
Labor has its chance to press the government on any number of issues in the first question time tomorrow. Let’s hope it’s not all about asylum seekers and carbon taxes.